With the Cape Cod Parent Resource Fair rapidly approaching we will be sharing blog posts on our participating sponsors, vendors and nonprofits. You will find out more about these amazing businesses and what they offer to our community. They will be sharing their services, advice, what challenges face our community as well as upcoming events they will be having. Make sure to check out our virtual program and resource guide ahead of the event so you can plan for what you want to see including our famous speaker panels. If you preregister for the speakers you will earn extra raffle tickets. You also earn them by attending any of our entertainment sessions! Just email us and you will receive tickets at the door! We hope to see you at the Resource Fair!
Silent Spring Institute
1. Tell us about your business/non profit and how it benefits local families?
Silent Spring Institute is a mission-driven scientific research organization dedicated to uncovering the environmental causes of breast cancer. Our independent research is empowering a revolution in environmental health to prevent cancers by reducing people’s exposure to harmful chemicals where they live, work and play. We believe everyone has a right to clean air, clean water, and safer products and that no one should get sick from toxic chemicals. We are creating new knowledge about cancer-causing chemicals—how we are exposed and how they affect our health. Our work is strengthening policies to protect consumers from toxics while making prevention a national research priority. Together with our sister organization Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, we work to update Cape Cod residents on our water quality and public health research findings.
2. Where is it located?
Silent Spring Institute’s main office is located in Newton, MA, but our Cape Coordinator is based in Barnstable, and members of our research team are often on the Cape for field sampling and to attend community events.
3. What is your favorite thing about our community?
We are so inspired by the dedication of Cape residents to protecting water quality and preserving the beautiful natural resources that make Cape Cod so special.
4. How else do you get involved with the community?
We are a resource for all Cape residents and often give presentations to community organizations and attend community events to share our research findings about water quality and ways of reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals.
5. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing parents in our community?
We have heard from families and family support providers that housing costs and availability are a great challenge facing parents in our community.
6. What is your favorite memory or story over the years involving you and your business?
We’re grateful to all the Cape residents who have taken part in our research studies over the years by sharing information about their health and welcoming our research team into their homes to collect samples of house dust, drinking water, and even their septic systems. Our research wouldn’t be possible without the support of so many people here on Cape Cod.
7. What advice would you give parents and caregivers in our community?
Get educated! Consumer products that we use every day can contain toxic chemicals, such as BPA (and other bisphenols) in can liners and plastic bottles, parabens and harmful fragrance chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products, and PFAS chemicals in food packaging materials, Teflon pans, and stain-resistant and waterproof clothing. Our free mobile app, Detox Me, provides practical tips for how to keep you and your family safe from harmful chemicals in everyday consumer products. Download our app on the Apple app store or Google Play for free to learn more!
8. Do you have any specials, events, or anything else taking place this upcoming year that our parents should know about?
We host an annual community event every fall to share updates about Silent Spring Institute’s research at the Barnstable Town Hall with Cape residents. And stay tuned for other updates about STEEP, PFAS-REACH, and our other water and health research on Cape Cod.
Family Car-Seat & Bike Safety Rodeo
The Cape Cod Children's Museum Family Car Seat & Bike Safety Rodeo is presented in collaboration with Cape Cod Moms and Mashpee and Falmouth Kiwanis,
sponsored by Falmouth Toyota.
Due to weather this event has been rescheduled from May 22 to June 26
The event will take place on:
Sunday June 26, 2016 from 11:00-2:00pm
at the Cape Cod Children's Museum
577 Great Neck Road South
Mashpee, MA 02649
Join us for complimentary car seat safety inspections performed by certified inspectors and FREE bike safety helmets generously provided by Mashpee & Falmouth Kiwanis
(while supplies last; first come, first served)!
There will also be 3 bikes that will be given away to three lucky kids including an awesome one to Corner Cycle from Murray & MacDonald Insurance!
This is a FREE family-friendly event!
Bring Your Bike by for valuable safety information, fun games and activities, and much more!
By: Elizabeth D
Did you know your smoke detector has a shelf life of 8-10 yrs? I did not and learned my lesson.
The stove burner was accidentally left on with food in the pan around 7 pm. Around 3 am I woke up coughing. My husband and toddler were sound asleep. The dogs weren't barking. But I could smell smoke. My husband opened our bedroom door and there was a wall of thick smoke. We had to wet face cloths just to breathe so we could open all the windows and doors.
With both of us working in the insurance industry, my husband and I are diligent to replace the batteries in our smoke and CO detectors and to push the test buttons regularly. What I didn't know is that the sensors get desensitized over time. We do use our fireplace in the winter. And sometimes our dinner ends up a little crispy. But looking back, the alarm hasn't gone off in a while. It was 7 years old, just shy of the average life span.
Smoke detectors are now made with "born on dates". If yours doesn't have one, write on the inside cover the date you install it. Another scary thought - while they are required to be installed, do you know how old the smoke detector was before the person rented or sold your place to you? Was it one from their house/ another unit just to satisfy a requirement?
Please REPLACE your smoke detectors if they are old or if you don't know how old it is. While I am grateful everyone is OK, who needs this kind of hassle/ excitement when it's summer on Cape Cod?
Elizabeth grew up on the Cape and moved back after college. She is a mom to her 2 yr old son and 16 yr old step-daughter. She stumbled into an insurance career out of college and currently works at Almeida & Carlson.
Halloween Health & Safety Tips
Halloween Health & Safety Tips
By Heather Grocott
Autumn holidays like Halloween are fun times for children of all ages, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, enjoy fall fruits and vegetables, and eat yummy treats. These celebrations also provide a chance to give out healthy snacks, engage in physical activity and focus on safety.
Check out these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for trick-or-treaters and your party guests:
· Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.
· Avoid trick-or-treating alone with your child. Walk in groups with friends.
· Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you and your child.
· Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating
· Encourage your children to always WALK during trick or treating
· Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.
· Dress your children in well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
· Do not allow your child to enter homes
· Carry a cell phone with you
Treat safety tips:
· Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before your child eats them. Limit the amount of treats your child eats.
· Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
· A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
· Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
· Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests? Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone:
· Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For party guests, offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and cheeses.
· Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
· Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could result in falls.
· Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
· Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.
Heather Grocott is a Director at The Children's Workshop. She holds a BA from Providence College in Elementary and Special Education as well as a Master's Degree from Rhode Island College in Early Childhood Education. Her true passion is not only working with children, but sharing knowledge with families and teachers in order to provide the best early learning experience for all young learners. She is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Rhode Island Childcare Director’s Association, as well as the Rhode Island College Early Childhood Advisory Board.
By Tracy Martin-Turgeon
When the warm weather starts to roll in to summer, chances are you will go swimming at the beach, a community center or a backyard pool. Basic safety tips are essential to ensure safe swimming. Some tips to help make your summer enjoyable.
Making swimming and water play a priority.
Stay safe in your back yard in swimming pools.
· Teach your children basic swimming tips in your pool.
· Making children aware of pool drains, pipes, ladders that may cause them to become stuck or pulled under water.
· Always have a portable phone close by incase you need to call 911.
· If a child is missing, check the pool first.
· Make sure your pool has a lock and gate when not in use.
· Install pool alarms this could possible save a life.
· Maintain your pool so it is operating properly.
· If possible, enroll your child/children in swimming classes.
Enjoy your summer, use safety tips and caution at all times. Drowning statistics have grown over the years. Make this your top priority as a parent to ensure your child is safe at all times near water. Make sure you have a first aid kit handy, a pair of scissors to cut hair or clothing if they get stuck or entrapped, a portable phone, and a flotation device and you will be on your way to an enjoyable summer.
Tracy Martin-Turgeon has been in the field of early childhood education for 22 years. She started with The Children's Workshop in September 1999 as an assistant director and she is currently Vice President of Operations, overseeing seven facilities throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts including Bourne and South Dennis. The Children’s Workshop provides quality child care and early education for Infants, Toddlers, PreSchool, PreK, Before & After School and Summer Camp. For more information visit http://www.childrensworkshop.com/
Halloween Costumes on a Budget
By Kelli DiDomenico
Halloween is a spooky holiday that many children look forward to every October. It starts with the thrills of visiting your local haunted houses, carving silly jack-o-lanterns with your family and friends, trick or treating for yummy candy and of course creating your very own crazy, silly and creative costumes that don’t break the bank.
It’s important, however, to balance fun along with safety, when we think about celebrating Halloween. Everyone certainly wants to have a safe, fun, inexpensive and great Halloween night that the entire family can enjoy. All it takes to accomplish these goals is some easy safety tips as a guideline and some creative, homemade costume designs that can fit everyone’s budget. Halloween season is a great opportunity to bring families together to engage in some family-friendly activities for little or no cost. All it really takes is some elbow grease, teamwork and a lot of creativity.
First things first – all parents need to know how to make Halloween as safe as possible for you and your child, before you can think about creating that fabulous, one of a kind costume for trick or treating.
· Supervision - Children under the age of 12 should be with an adult at all times. Never let your children too far ahead of you. The rule of thumb is that they should always be in your line of vision. It’s very important to educate your children to never go into a stranger's house. No matter how nice they seem, it is important to stay on the doorstep and leave promptly after you have received your treat.
· Precautions - Don’t forget to decorate trick or treat bags, costumes and all outer wear with reflective tape or stickers and choose light colored costumes to improve visibility. Your children will be out later when it is darker and it is important to be able to see them at all times. Choose face paint and make-up instead of masks, which can obstruct a child's vision. Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights in order to see better, as well as to be seen by drivers.
· Check All Candy – Always remember to inspect all treats for signs of tampering before children are allowed to eat them. Candy should be thrown away if the wrapper is faded, torn, or if the candy is unwrapped.
· Obey Traffic Laws –Safety comes first…always use sidewalks and traffic signals when walking around your neighborhood. Cross at corners, make sure to follow the traffic signals and if there are no sidewalks, make sure to walk with the traffic.
Dressing up in costumes are certainly a fun Halloween tradition, but purchasing costumes can become very expensive for families, especially in these difficult economic times. There are a number of inexpensive ways and things you can do to create a unique, amusing and silly costume for your child and have fun while you are doing it! Encourage your child to first explore clothing and other accessories that you may have at home that can be used for a costume. Then you can spend a small amount of money on special accessories for them to create that one of a kind outfit. Here are some great ideas…
· All Black clothing = black cat or a bat
· All Red clothing = devil, red M&M or skittle (use a little tape for the M on the shirt!)
· All white clothing = angel
· Pajamas = a baby
· Jeans and a flannel shirt = A cowboy
· Branches, brown paper bags, string, glue – scary Halloween Tree
· Sports uniforms and equipment – basketball, hockey, soccer, golf, soft ball or baseball player…
It's also very easy for your older child to dress like his or her favorite television or book character by using things from home. You can use recycled materials to create many unique costumes as well. Put some holes in a cardboard box for a child's head and arms. Your child can be a TV, a Rubik's cube, a dice. Let them use their imaginations to create whatever they think will be a hit in their neighborhood.
Other low-cost ideas…
· Take a trip to visit your local Salvation Army, thrift store or Savers or any local resale shop that may sell gently used costumes and accessories that can be an affordable option for many families. You may be surprised at what a great selection they have for costumes and accessories.
· Start a Costume Swap with your family, friends and neighbors. It’s simple – just have everyone bring their old costumes to your swap and exchange away. Remember to set the ground rules beforehand. You may also want to invite your child’s childcare or school to get involved in a costume swap event. It’s a great activity for their PTO’s or Parent Committees to get involved with during this season. The opportunities and ideas can be endless and lots of fun for all ages!
Halloween is a great, family-friendly tradition that allows us the opportunity to spend this holiday with each other. So take advantage of the season and spend quality time with the people you love, make some life long memories in the process and stick to your budget. Happy Trick or Treating!
Kelli DiDomenico brings over 20 years of experience to her role at The Children's Workshop as Director of Parent and Community Relations. Kelli earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Rhode Island College. She was the Director and Owner of her own School Age Program and a Program Manager for Therapeutic child care before rejoining the TCW team in 2010. She is also a very active member of the communities we serve. The Children’s Workshop is located in South Dennis and Bourne and provides learning programs and quality care for ages six weeks through twelve years. Visit www.ChildrensWorkshop.com for more information.
Summer Safety Tips, Part 3
by Tracy Lamperti, LMHC, BCETS
It may seem strange to find the topic of “family dynamics” under Summer Safety Tips, but stay with me on this one.
Holidays are surely a time of stress for many due to increased expectations to spend time with family. Summer, though, in my personal and professional experience is equally stressful, if not more so. The Thanksgiving/Christmas period, at most, usually lasts about 4-6 weeks. Summer, on the other hand, is about 8-12 weeks of expectations of cookouts, Fourth of July parties, beach parties, bonfires, birthdays….and the expectation tends to be, “since it is summer, of course you can come!”
It is my wish that you could enjoy every minute of summer fun, but let me call your attention to “Why Summer Can Be Bad For Kids.” ….not to be a killjoy….
– When parents are stressed, children are stressed. Some children act out (behavioral issues) and some children act in (emotional issues) when their adults are stressed. Talk about plans ahead of time. Your husband might not want to go to your mother’s house for the 3rd week in a row for a cookout. You might want to stay at your mother-in-law’s cookout for 2 hours, not 6.
– If cousin Sally typically has too much to drink and starts wobbling around the guests, better to talk with your husband ahead of time to decide if and how to handle this around your children if it should occur.
– If you are so fortunate as to have mature older cousins as role models for your children that is awesome!
Sadly, all too often, it is an older cousin to leads a younger child astray with negative behavior lessons.
Statistics are becoming overwhelmingly alarming that the numbers of older cousins/youth relatives are luring younger children into both, negative behavior and sexual situations. It is too common that the older cousin relationship is by default a trusted situation; they are family and you are on the property (often they are congregating apart from the adults). However, in this situation, the older youth often knows HOW LIKELY it is that an adult will enter their space. Adults, since they are blindly trusting family, don’t tend to check on the kids. Many of us have very lovely and loving children who would never be that “dangerous cousin,” but don’t take unnecessary chances. It was once a “trusted cousin” who lit the woods on fire and sent the younger children running back for a bucket of water.
Staying Too Long
– Know your child. Know your husband. Know yourself. It’s better to leave wishing it could have stayed longer and longing for the next get-together, than to stay too long. What could be worse than having had a
good time with family and a big fight on the way home because the little ones are melting down.
– Many adults have “issues” with a parent or sibling. For the sake of “family” and “fun” many people set these “issues” to the side. Be aware of buttons that could be pushed and how you plan to handle this. The event could be “uneventful”, i.e. no major blowouts, however you leave feeling terrible.
– When there is lots of family around, it is easier to assume that someone is watching the children at any given time. Not necessarily. Keep an eye on your little ones.
– When there is a lot of commotion, there are likely to be dangers that no one is thinking of; hot grills, knives, open doors or gates, pets, alcoholic beverages….Stay on your toes.
Stress is bad for kids and accidents and oversights are much more likely to occur when there is stress
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